Decorating your property is important in making your house really feel like a home. But as your tastes change over time you may very well find yourself, a few years after you moved in and decorated, longing for a change. Or after retirement you may become interested in redecorating for the challenge and sense of freedom it offers. While this challenge can be invigorating, it can still be nice to have some items that, when you first buy them, you know you will keep them.
These timeless items will be different for every person – a leather sofa, a wooden dining table – but once you find them it can give a sense of comfort and permanence to your house. Plus, I’m a firm believer in ‘buy well, buy once’ so it’s a good idea not to follow interiors trends with your bigger investment pieces, such as the chairs, storage, table, sofa etc.
You can, of course change up your style over the years using soft furnishings and paint colours, but having those classic pieces as the basis for your future designs will save you money throughout your lifetime. Here’s how to figure out your style before you invest…
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE CAREFULLY
Going shopping for the furniture you plan to have for the foreseeable future without carefully thinking about what you want can leave you with pieces that make you feel slightly unwelcome or alienated in your own home. It may be only a small thing that’s not quite right but, over the years, if you feel even slightly less at home in your house, that can add up to a surprising amount of lost happiness.
WORKING OUT WHAT YOUR STYLE IS
To work out your style it can be worth looking around your current home. Make a note of all the items you bought or chose yourself and try to quickly weigh up, on a scale of one to ten, how much you like it. It is absolutely fine for your feelings to be vague: the idea at this stage is to build up an idea of what you tend to choose and whether you actually like it.
Once you have an idea of what you tend to choose, try searching online for the makers and the styles in broad strokes: do you prefer sleek futuristic designs, or older styles, classic wood panelling, or a more natural, rustic feeling? This should give you a definite idea of what sort of style you will likely prefer for future furniture and will help you when shopping for timeless décor.
LIGHTING CHOICES AFFECT THE DECOR
One area which is very important to your décor (and which is very easy to miss!) is lighting. Getting your light fixtures right can be especially important, with flexible lighting, such as floor lamps and desk lights, being a good way to mix things up. Companies such as Pagazzi offer these in a huge range of styles to fit everyone’s varying styles. But why is investing in lighting so important when we’re talking about furniture?
First of all, the level and intensity of lighting in your house will affect how you perceive the colour scheme. It can be infuriating to have chosen colours you like for your house which work in daylight, but that give an unattractive glow under night-time lighting. One of the best solutions for this is to go for energy-saving lightbulbs, especially LED lightbulbs, which can make you great savings on your energy bills and provide a clear white light that doesn’t change your colour scheme too much.
FUTURE-PROOF YOUR FURNITURE
If you’ve spent time figuring out your style and have saved up the cash to go out and hunt for those key pieces, now’s the time to check that the quality of the furniture is good enough to last you a lifetime. You don’t want to splash out on the perfect rustic sideboard if you discover that actually, it’s not oak, it’s an MDF piece with wood veneer.
While it might be cheaper to buy, it probably won’t last as long as the solid wood piece. And, if you opt for real wood, you will be able to refinish it if it gets stained or scratched over the years and can even repaint it to fit in with your future decor. So, spending a little extra now, could make all the difference in the future and bring down the ‘cost per year’ if it lasts decades longer than the flat-pack version.
Don’t despair if you can’t afford to buy solid wood furniture brand new – this is where secondhand shopping comes in! Head to the vintage shop, car boot sale or charity shop to find a quality piece. Be prepared to do some work on it to bring it back to ‘like new’ standard, but secondhand furniture will save you ££s while ensuring it lasts longer.
I hope this has given you some inspiration when you go shopping for new furniture and that you’ll take time to choose items that are exactly to your taste and needs. Do let me know how you’ve chosen to decorate your home – what’s your style? And I’d love to hear about any furniture bargains you’ve found in the comments below.
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